EVENTSSEE OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE
SEE OUR PAST SHOWS HERE
Ty Hardy: drums
courtney sheedy: bass/vox
matt taylor: guitar/vox
PRESSLike most great pop songs, Swim Swam Swum’s “Belly Aches” is rooted in the past. From its opening crunchy guitars to the buzzing keyboard that’s barely audible in the background, almost everything about the song screams 1997. But instead of simply aping the sound of so many past indie rock giants, “Bell Aches” captures the spirit of what made so many of those bands so great in the first place.
Though I’ve enjoyed Swim Swam Swum in the past, the excellent Circumpolar
Westerliesis just what I need to hear in month when Weezer released an
album with a song called “The Girl Got Hot.” SSS leader Matt Taylor has
crafted a hooky, immediate record that’s filled with standouts, but it
took me a good four listens just to make it past the fantastic opening
track. Yeah, it has some obvious touchstones—love those Return of the
Rentals synths floating in and out of so many tracks—but songs like “Belly
Aches” aren’t that easy to classify. Taylor’s voice is still yelpy and
urgent in all the right ways, but something else is different. It could
be the lineup change (drummer Adam Draper has been around for two years,
but bassist Courtney Sheedy’s a 2009 addition) or the way so many tracks
shift in unexpected directions. Listen closely, because there’s a moment
about 2/3 of the way through when everything drops out of the mix except
Taylor’s acoustic guitar that just blows me away. For anyone still in
denial about Raditude, “Belly Aches” makes everything okay for three minutes.
Every band ought to involve conjugations of a single word. But aside from having the best name in town, Swim Swam Swum reminds me of growing up under an older brother with exceptional taste in music. Never allowed to listen to anything else, I was fed a steady diet of Pond, Faith No More and Pavement—three early-’90s bands. The band is destructive, animalistic and commanding, the kind of qualities that make for an incredibly eventful live show, especially within the close-and-personal confines of Kelly’s.
- MARK STOCK, Willamette Week.
Ever had one of those rotten days where it seems like nothing could possibly lift those thunderous clouds from above your weary head? It's like your brain ate some bad shellfish and will be tethered to the toilet all night long. That's where I was a few weekends ago. But then I saw Swim Swam Swum at a house party and those wrongs were righted. They fixed me with bright, bouncing melodies, round bass, lots of major scales, and a kind of honest nerdyness reminiscent of There's Nothing Wrong with Love-era Built to Spill.
ANDREW R. TONRY, The Portland Mercury
In a half-circle around the tables near the front of the stage were a couple dozen people standing with knees and heads bouncing: These folks were tuned into Clinton Cunningham's loud, treble-heavy, crystal-clear and looping bass lines, and their bopping mirrored drummer Randy Bemrose's motions as he flopped his dark mop in time with the ruckus of his fills. But there were also the seated followers of frontman Matt Taylor, who performs somewhat bashfully, his closed eyes hidden behind glasses, his vocals taking on a slightly affected, candied-yet-strained high pitch. It was a post-punk show with a singer-songwriter nucleus: at once loud and reserved, rocking and intimate.
Afterward, when I got a listen to SSS's self-titled EP—which was recorded by Point Juncture, WA's Skyler Norwood (who's also worked with Talkdemonic and Horse Feathers)—Taylor's voice struck me as cleaner, though no less removed in its demeanor. And when I met up with him and Cunningham for beers at My Father's Place, I found Taylor, a 29-year-old Salt Lake City transplant and former auto mechanic, no more forthcoming in person. Thrifty with his words, Taylor told me that his lyrics are mostly "stuff that rhymes, stuff that sounds good."
It wasn't until I actually asked him if he was down about something that he and Cunningham both laughed and opened up. They told me how out of place they felt playing a show at Rock N Roll Pizza last year with a couple of more mainstream-pop-sounding high-school bands ("I thought we were gonna get beer bottles thrown at us as soon as we started," said Cunningham). They also shared the story of how, at My Father's Place a couple weeks earlier, Bemrose (who is also the frontman in Junkface) overheard their conversation about SSS's previous drummer quitting abruptly via only a MySpace message; right then, Bemrose joined their table and volunteered to play, cementing the band's current lineup.
Probing deeper into Swim Swam Swum's music might also unearth interesting
anecdotes, but further investigation is by no means necessary: As that
recent Towne Lounge performance showed, Swim Swam Swum is plenty interesting
as an enigma."
"Swim Swam Swum's indierock will not blow you away. It will remind you of much of the indierock the late '90s and early part of this century has offered. But that doesn't mean this Portland band is not good, nor even mediocre. I just need to be honest here..the band doesn't break any new ground. Still, you won't have to pay 10-plus dollars nor stand in a crowded Crystal Ballroom to experience their fun and melodic off-kilter rock sound..which is as good, if not better, as many indierock bands ask you to pay double-digit prices and crowd into doubly packed venues nowadays. While they don't shock, they offer a certain something special that makes an intimate night with their jangling, tinny tunes in a small joint, well, something special."
JENNY TATONE, the Portland Mercury
FRIENDSpoint juncture wa
deer or the doe
((( in mono )))
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